I must confess: I was, from its inception during finals period 2009, quite the avid reader [read: compulsive checker] of Spotted at Brown. Even when I kind of hated it, I may have managed to read every post. For the multi-tasker, Spotted was an ideal way to satisfy idle anthropological curiosity concerning casual campus observation procrastinate. Originally inspired by I Saw You Harvard, Spotted at Brown came to be its own, anonymously ranting beast. With its cast of recurring characters, it was at once an online lonely hearts club, a bulletin board, a philosophical forum, a meme generator, an infinite abyss. (It was no BlogDailyHerald, though.) Where else could you go to read about classroom crushes, orgo frustrations, neighborly passive-aggression, Spring Weekend speculation, and Uncle Ned’s exploits?
But one fateful Thursday evening just before spring break, I clicked on the bookmarked link and found that Spotted was down — and, alas, this time for good.
Call me nostalgic, but despite the trolls, vote hacks, posts asking for DETAILS?! about vague chance encounters, and Ayn Rand, I’ll always have a soft spot for S@B. I’ll be forever indebted to the kind Spotters at Brown who helped me recover my lost scarf, and I’ll look back fondly on the embarrassing posts from secret admirers about my friends that I mercilessly copied and pasted onto their Facebook walls. And this year, during the rush of trying to get SW tix at 8 am, I must say I missed the company of fellow bleary-eyed, furiously refreshing Spotters.
Perhaps there’s still a small hope that the site is only temporarily defunct while the moderator installs changes demanded by its past users, such as adding a comments feature, removing inane censors, and implementing anti-spam measures. But my email inquiring into the matter received no response, and this is most likely merely wishful thinking. (Any tips, anyone?) For now, SpottedAtBrown seems to have followed its predecessor JuicyCampus and gone the way of the dodo.